web typography
style and design
functions of type

On the Internet, designers are not always sure how to apply the different kinds of typography. This means that some new media designers don't have the appropriate knowledge to create efficient navigation systems. In some cases –like a designers own portfolio– this lack of knowledge can be forgiven (although portfolios tend to be the least usable/legible sites out there). In cases where a large target audience needs to be addressed knowledge of usability is crucial to a site's success.

Usability issues were not introduced by designers but by –generally disliked– experts from the 'Human-Computer Interaction' field. Unfortunately many usability 'gurus' are not designers and therefore lack typographic understanding. If designers want to have more control of creative development, they should learn usability and interaction design principles.

Knowledge of usability besides traditional and interactive typography will simply make design more conceptual. It does not limit creative freedom; it expands the creative horizon with theoretical insight. There are no rules, just guides. Knowing what one is doing simple makes designing easier and the end result better.

Knowledge of usability is as important as knowledge of legibility. Usability is a new media extension of typography and cannot be neglected by designers or typographers that practice any commercial form of communication design.

Interaction classification makes interpretation of usability and typography guidelines easier, as different types of interaction require different guides.

Related info:

Usability experts are from Mars, graphic designers from Venus
Curl Cloninger
Jakob Nielsen
Keith Instone

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